Intended for healthcare professionals


Mental illness—not a laughing matter

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 23 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b708
  1. Naaheed Mukadam, specialist trainee year 4, mental health care for older people, St Pancras Hospital, London
  1. naaheed{at}

    Part of every introduction in small talk is the discussion of what one does for a living. Most people, on finding out that I am a psychiatrist, will cast a pitying glance at my husband, giggle nervously, and edge away from me saying something to the effect that, “Oh, I had better watch what I say and do then.” All of this, of course, is meant to imply that I have, by virtue of my training, some sort of psychic or mind reading abilities and that mere mortals had better beware. It’s mostly done in jest, and I sometimes play along. After all, psychic powers would make my …

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